Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry


I've just noticed something.

My first actual fandom - as opposed to handwriting fan-fic in my bedroom, before the 'net - was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I handwrote fan-fic in my bedroom before the 'net for them, too, not even knowing there was a name for it or anything; ever after I watched the 1990 Movie and fell in love with that version (while hating the then-cartoon as stupid) from the moment when Raphael lost his temper and said, "Damn!" A lot. While never a Raphael fan-girl (they all seemed to want to date him and/or "tame" him!) and excluding Anne Shirley and the March sisters, he *really* took up residence in my head and became one of the first fictional characters (created by someone else) who made me *need* to write him. I was already writing short stories for fun, not school, and attempted my first original novel at 13. But that was different.

Even then, I knew that writing a story about Tim Whistler from The Brittas Empire having been long-term fostered but never adopted (hence his attachment issues with Gavin Featherly and constant fear of Gavin cheating on him or leaving, and also why he chose the surname "Whistler" after the couple who fostered him, when he decided to change it from Goebbels) was kind of illegal and unpublishable because the BBC and the writers, directors and actors had "ownership". (And yet, I still went to the library and reseached fostering and adoption and The Children's Act 1988 etc.)  But sometimes characters and ideas and scenes got stuck in my head and *had* to be written.

And in TMNT, Splinter saying to Raphael, "I have tried to channel your anger and yet more remains. Turned inward it will become an unconquerable enemy. You are unique among your brothers as you choose to face this enemy... alone. But as you face it, do not forget them. And do not forget me. I am here for you, my son." might as well have been talking to *me*. (I *still* don't need to look that quote up and it must be eight or nine years since I last saw the movie.) I was a *very* angry young woman (child/tween/teen/adolescent/whatever) - and certainly being bullied at school and my dad having a nervous breakdown when I was 13 didn't really improve matters.

But, THEN I started university and had access to the internet - how would kids today react at the thought that I didn't have an email until I was 18! - and searched using Alta Vista (IIRC) because there was no Google, and discovered that there was FAN-fiction (I wasn't mad or utterly alone in doing this thing!) and other adults who *still* loved TMNT because they had *always* loved TMNT and who wrote intelligent (and researched! some of the writers back then really knew their ninjutsu stuff; and turtle health and anatomy and illnesses; and NYC and underground NYC) not-for-kids (and adult/explicit erotica, too, but I was less interested in that) stories. And *novel-length* "books" which they put online, to their websites, or ff.net, or other archives and online forums! (TMNT people are why I joined LJ in the first place.)

Back then, though, there were already many, many universes in the fandom (and even more now, I imagine, since there have been new toons and reimaginings since I stopped being a fan): the 1980s Mirage comics, the 1980s cartoon (with all the pizza), the 1990s live-action movies, the Archie comics, the Image comics, the later Mirage comics (by "Mirage 4" there were aliens all over!) and then a bit later, the "2k3" or "New" 'Toon. Not to mention the "Not True Canon" universe which included Venus, the fiifth, female, brought up seperately and Chinese-trained, mutant turtle. With breasts behind her plastron. Because that makes sense. (Even for values of sense including humanoid ninja turtles, wielding Okinawan - not specifically *ninja*- weaponry (Okinawan weapons are sometimes refered to as karate and self-defense weapons, because, like karate, they originated on Okinawa after it was conquered by Japan and the native population was banned from weapons, so they learned to use "empty-hands" and farm-tools instead) and swords which were drawn as ninjato (straight-bladed) but always *refered* to as "katanas" (curve-bladed swords) - which are also samurai weapons, not ninja ones.... Could Eastman & Laird *spell* "orientalism"?!)

I - and most of the people I knew on the boards/forums, writers I read, writers I co-wrote with, edited and beta-read for - created my own kind of hybrid 'verse. I (and most of the... you get the idea) wrote in a fusion 'verse of Mirage 1 comics, Original Movie and New Toon (which was loosely based on Mirage 1 - and if you only know the TMNT from the '80s cartoon, surprisingly dark).

Opinions varied as to whether Splinter made more sense as a pet-rat + ooze or a homeless/on-the-run human ninja whom the ooze spliced with rat DNA, and therefore source of the human DNA which the ooze spliced into the turtles. Canon origins stories differed, depending on canon 'verse. Canon also differed on April O' Neil, scientist/grad-student/intern or April O'Neil, intrepid reporter.

But people felt able to mix and match. At will. And did it well. (Mostly.)

My newest fandom is Marvel's Avengers.

And in much of what I consider the best of Avengers fan-fiction, the writers also feel able to mix and match, throwing in elements from Matt Fraction's Hawkeye, various Avengers and other Marvel *comic* titles/'verses, various Marvel films beyond the MCU (Daredevil, X-Men, Fantastic Four (not least that Johnny Storm looks *just* like Cap and isn't it hilarious!), Spider-Man etc), Marvel animations (e.g. Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes) etc, etc. So we can have a Serumed!Older-Than-She-Looks!Natasha (with USSR/Red Room connections to the Winter Soldier) instead of her being born in the 1980s. We can have a Clint Barton with all his history with his brother having tried to kill him, who is really close to Hulk (but not Bruce so much). We can have JARVIS and Edwin Jarvis the butler existing simultaneously. We can have *both* the Stark Mansion as the *home* of the Avengers in NYC *and* Stark Tower as the business/lab-base, in the same fic. And I *like* it. The people who do it really make it work for them (or at least, if I don't like the fic/writer, it isn't *that* which isn't working for me, even if I do find Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton being 29 a *bit* of a stretch). :D

I wonder if there's something in that? Something deep and profound. Or... not.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 29th, 2015 07:24 pm (UTC)
Well that's certainly an interesting insight into two fandoms I know very little about

If I'm reading you right, am I getting the sense that mash up is in your blood?

Because if it is (and even if it's not!), I tend to think that fandoms work like people, in that we are drawn to the same things in different people.

So even if our friends (and lovers) are very disparate in looks, interests and lifestyle, fundamentally they are made up of the same components which always attract us.

That there is a common thread running through them all.
Sep. 30th, 2015 03:56 pm (UTC)
I've vaguely seen The Brittas Empire around, and registered it as 'appears to have that chap from Red Dwarf in' (Red Dwarf, incidentally, being a big early slash fandom of mine!) but I had no idea it was slashable/fic inspiring - I must try and get hold of it!

I think mix-and-match in fandoms/canons can be brilliant. Like in Greek Mythology, where there are many 'right' versions of a myth and all can be true simultaneously, and elements can crossover between telling strands.
Oct. 1st, 2015 10:14 am (UTC)
Well, The Brittas Empire inspired me when I was a teenager. Twenty years on, I hesitate to recommend it. I don't remember much in detail, but most of the humour came from characters acting without an ounce of common sense, or from erroneous postulates.

But Gavin/Tim was a *canon* pairing. Tim was morbidly jealous and deeply insecure - and it was sort of played for laughs. But I loved that Gavin called him "Timmy" and in spite of the comedy it was depicted as a long-term, deep and committed partnership. So I wrote something... serious (or, well, 16-year-old "serious") exploring them actually dealing with their issues. (Like the fact Gavin wasn't out to his family, and while most of their colleagues knew they were together their boss didn't etc, all of which, naturally, only made an insure man even more insecure.) IIRC. :)

I suppose props on them for having a gay male pairing in the '90s - but it probably wasn't handled all that well in retrospect?
Oct. 2nd, 2015 11:50 am (UTC)
Canon? Wow! I mean I can imagine that it is played for comedy (I suppose it's a sitcom anyway, and so no one gets to escape with dignity) but that would still be fascinating to see - thanks so much for the info! *g*
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Dee Natsuko

Latest Month

April 2018


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow